Rifai .org

Rifai Sufi Order Web Site

3.Nafsi Mulhima – The Inspired Self

The balanced or inspired self, the third level, is the state in which the good has begun to predominate in this struggle. The tyranny of egoism has been overcome, and a more or less integrated self is attained.

The quality awakened here is the renunciation (zühd) of worldly longings and ambitions, a freedom from the conditionings of desire.  This state is the aim of most religion and psychology.  It is the boundary of conventional ego development.  Although it is only third level of human development in the Sufi system, it is no minor accomplishment.  For some it requires a great deal of personal, psychological work and, of course, the blessings of Allah.

This is a stage when the seeker is rewarded for his efforts, persistence, and obedience to his highest self and his spiritual teacher. Now he occasionally receives messages from inside of himself: soundless wordless inspirations, which give him direction, encouragement, and the strength to continue in his advancement.

Yet there are still grave dangers. The devil is capable of imitating divine inspirations, and the seeker may not be able to differentiate between them. That is why at this stage the guidance of a master is so necessary, one who will be able to distinguish the true inspirations from the false imaginations.

It is during this period that the relation between the seeker and his master has to be the closest. The seeker should not hide anything from his teacher: he should reveal all his hopes, his fears, and his faults; even if he feels resentment or opposition to his teacher, he has to confess these to him. They are like the symptoms of a disease, which a sick person must reveal to the doctor in whom he has confidence. Just as he heeds the advice given or the diet prescribed, or diligently takes the medicine given, if he obeys the counsel of his master, he will be able to advance.

Another affliction during this period is a change in understanding and sensibility. It is as if he forgets all that he knew, even his idea of himself. New impressions do not correspond to the old ones. He is apt to see things differently, to misunderstand them, to make mistakes. He feels as if he does not exist. He may imagine that he has reached the final level of Fana Fillah – to lose oneself in Allah. But this feeling has nothing to do with that high state. He should realize that it is a state of helplessness, of emptiness, a state of desperate need.

This is the last level of danger for the self, for it is still vulnerable to descending to the lower stages of Blame and Commanding. At this stage the two desires for immortality and sovereignty are dormant except in passing thoughts.

Its remembrance is Hu (The Divine Pronoun HE).